Tag Archives: antitrust

Dairy Farmers Settle Lawsuit for $159 Million

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Southeastern dairy farmers from 14 states have reached a tentative settlement for nearly $159 million in their antitrust lawsuit against the Dairy Farmers of America over claims of dairy price controls.
The preliminary settlement heads off a civil trial that was to have begun Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Greeneville.
The farmers claimed there was a conspiracy among major milk producers to drive down the prices they received for milk. The lawsuit was filed in July 2007 and the farmers have previously settled with Dean Foods and the Southern Marketing Agency.
An order issued Tuesday by Judge Ronnie Greer grants the dairies’ motion for preliminary approval of the settlement. Greer will conduct a hearing April 3 to consider final approval.
The lead attorney for the farmers, Robert Abrams of the law firm BakerHostetler, said in a news release that the southeast milk market has been reformed as a result of the settlement.
“The monetary recovery itself is very substantial and the resulting conduct changes will significantly and positively impact competition in the southeast dairy industry,” he said.
The law firm said in a statement that the last settlement brings the total amount for the farmers in the class action lawsuit to more than $300 million. The Dairy Farmers of America, a milk marketing cooperative, also agreed also to change some of its business practices in the southeast region to increase raw milk prices and boost transparency, the law firm said.
The settlement was first reported by The Greeneville Sun (http://bit.ly/Tg1KoO ).

E-Book Price Fixing Lawsuit Settled; Some Consumers Get Refunds

News release from attorney general’s office:
If you purchased E-Books over the past two years, you may soon be eligible for restitution as the result of a multistate agreement to resolve price-fixing allegations, Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper announced today. Tennessee is expected to receive approximately $1.2 million as part of the agreement.
The announcement comes after Attorney General Cooper and 54 attorneys general in other states, districts and U.S. territories have reached an antitrust settlement with three of the largest book publishers in the United States. Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. and Simon & Schuster Inc. have agreed to pay a total of more than $69 million to consumers to resolve antitrust claims of an alleged unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books (E-books). They have also agreed to change the way they price E-books in the future.
The agreement occurs in conjunction with a civil antitrust lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court in New York against Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, which alleges that they and two non-settling publishers (Macmillan and Penguin) along with Apple conspired to fix prices for E-books. Specifically, the complaint states, the publishers agreed to increase retail E-book prices for all consumers and to eliminate E-book retail price competition between E-book outlets regardless of where the consumers bought their E-books.

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Cohen Wants Antitrust Investigation of Kroger’s

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen asked the U.S. Justice Department Thursday to look into the antitrust implications of the sale of Schnucks stores to Kroger and “whether it will negatively affect competition,” reports the Commercial Appeal.
The Memphis Democrat wrote to Atty. Gen. Eric Holder, first describing the longtime Memphis institution Seessel’s, whose stores were bought out by Schnucks in 2002.
In the letter, Cohen said Kroger plans to convert eight Schnucks stores into Kroger stores with five Schnucks and Kroger stores closing, giving Kroger 43 stores in the region “with no comparable competitor.”
Most of the Schnucks stores will close on Saturday, with the remaining stores closing within 30 days, erasing the St. Louis-based Schnucks brand from the Mid-South region. Kroger, based in Cincinnati, is buying nine Schnucks stores and closing one. Schnucks also is closing three stores that were not part of the sale. In addition, Kroger plans to close two of its smaller stores.